With less than 30 days until the handing of diplomas, graduating seniors will grab their gowns and mothers will wait to welcome them home with baby blankets and cheek-staining lipstick love. According to Pew Research Center study, 36 percent of young adults ages 18-31 will return home to live with their parents, the highest share of post-college, parent-quartering in at least four decades.
Whether for financial reasons or real-world denial, coming back to the home that built you is a challenge of college debt loan proportions. A few tips for the post-college parent-cohabitation.
- Remind mom you are now an adult whose taste palate has matured above Cocoa Puffs, like cold pizza for breakfast, hot pizza for lunch and probably nothing for dinner, because pizza and profits are gone and so are Bean Bucks.
- “Cat’s Cradle” has been on a loop since you left, so humor Dad by accepting his invitation to learn how to ride your bike. For the second time.
- For the love of your mother, separate your darks from your white laundry. YouTube how-to videos and learn to fold shirts like a GAP employee and show mom and dad the education a college degree has served you.
- No one at the dinner table is going to care about Sally Mae from Pi Pie Pi social club getting engaged. All they care about is why you are not.
- Your head hasn’t hit the pillow before 2 a.m. for four years. So be in bed by 8 p.m. and mom can do her obligatory, tuck-you-in. Appreciate the mom muscle for five minutes then struggle for 10 to untuck yourself from the suffocating swaddle.
- If siblings are still at home, retire the tongue-sticking-outs and grant them shotgun on car rides. Instead, remind them their student debt loans will take twice the time and cost twice the price of yours.
- Also, volunteer to babysit the youngins so as to carry on that nap time tradition college made into a concrete appointment.
- Invest in a goldfish pet or utilize Skype so as the parents won’t worry about your deteriorating post-college social life.
- Ready those resumes. Dad will take copies to work the way he once guilted coworkers to buy fundraiser tubs of cookie dough.
- Refamiliarize yourself with your birth name. Long gone are the days of nicknames, last-name summons. You now answer by that wretched four-syllable name, or “darling,” “honey,” “baby,” “sweetie,” etc.
- Avoid being made to eat your vegetables at dinner by telling the family you adopted a fleshitarian diet over the past four years to protest the mistreatment of plants.
As you return to the driveways where you once first learned to drive, ready your patience and relinquish the privacy college once granted you. Mom will be waiting on the porch every night chanting, “I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as you’re poor unemployed, you’ll call me mommy.”